Sad News - Dr. Glenn Lehr of New World Orchids

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Jun 6, 2006
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Sacramento, CA. Outside w/ Southeast Exposure
Just sharing some sad news in the Neo/Japanese Orchid world.
This was posted on FB by Kristen Uthus, who took over for Glenn at NWO a few years ago:

Dr. Glenn C. Lehr passed away yesterday after a long struggle with a chronic illness. He will be remembered always for his buoyant spirit, his limitless generosity, and sense of adventure. He was an Air Force navigator, a pioneering dentist, and an orchid entrepreneur, but that says nothing of the man behind the labels.
As a navigator, he was known for his many unscheduled stopovers in the Caribbean Islands to “avoid weather.” His love of tropical places would take Glenn and his family to Central and South America countless times. That also inspired him to hire an instructor to teach the whole family to scuba dive. The place of instruction was the pool in their backyard. Also in the backyard was a landing strip for a small plane that Glenn learned to fly (this is in Manchester, MI, mind you) and a three-hole golf course. To complete the picture, there is an outdoor Swedish sauna located poolside. Who would need the islands?
Glenn made the money for this Michigan paradise as a wildly successful dentist. He had a string of dentist offices inside Meijer stores—a novel innovation. He did crazy things like scheduling Saturday appointments and buying the newest dental equipment. It worked out so well that eventually he was bought out by a larger company which left him free to try something entirely different: orchids.
Growing orchids was a great way to combine Glenn’s two passions: travel and meeting people. A book would hardly be enough to contain all his adventures in orchid growing alone. For example, I believe only Glenn can claim that he transitioned from South American species to Japanese species as the result of a volcanic eruption. Glenn remained a popular figure in “orchid world” until the end. Countless people will remember sharing a glass of wine (or two!) and swapping stories with him. His kindness, compassion, and sense of humor will be sorely missed.


Oct 25, 2009
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This is very sad news indeed. I have many fond memories of my visits with Glenn and his wife, Maria. Glenn's enthusiasm for his hobby and the knowledge he shared opened a whole new world for me many long years ago. Alex Challis, who passed less than a year ago, was once Glenn's partner in the orchid business. Both men were treasures in our community and veritable founts of knowledge and inspiration for countless orchid enthusiasts.

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